2020 and the coronavirus pandemic taught us a lot. They showed us that we simply weren’t ready to tackle a crisis on such a global scale. They brought our humanity to the surface when we came together in such a difficult time. They also made us develop a collective consciousness on sustainability and environmental issues like climate change.COVID-19 initiated a huge shift in mindset towards sustainability. Now as we enter a post-pandemic world, 2021 marks an era of change. It’s the year of the
European Year of Rail, and governments are revamping their train infrastructure to boost a change in favor of rail travel as a more sustainable mode of transport. With this in mind we at
Travelperk, the #1 business travel platformtook a look at why policy makers and travelers alike are switching to rail travel.
At the same time, SNCF (France’s primary rail operator) placed an order for 12 hydrogen-electric trains. They are expected to enter into service by 2024 and have a range of 600km on non-electrified track sections. This is part of SNCF’s broader strategy to increase energy efficiency, make domestic mobility more sustainable and environmentally friendly by championing the use of hydrogen solutions.Here’s the great thing—there’s a lot of public support and positive sentiment across the country for this shift. In fact, on our own platform, we’re seeing that the majority of our customers in France (where we offer both flights and rail) opt for trains over flights on domestic routes (see chart below). We’re even seeing a 16% increase in the rail share of our bookings (from 52% to 68%) since the beginning of June alone. That’s why we integrated the complete SNCF straight into
our platformso that our customers traveling around France can have access to their inventory in just a few clicks. We also offer special corporate fares, discounts, and loyalty cards for frequent travelers. Getting around France comfortably and sustainably just got easier, folks!
- Internet of Things motion-based sensors for trains and tracks. This will provide real-time data on the state of the train (high-speed trains or otherwise) and all of its infrastructure, including tracks. It will monitor damage and report the need for repairs, making it even safer.
- Autonomous trains could become a thing of the future. Don’t let self-driving cars get all the attention! These trains will feature advanced sensor technology, will reduce technical errors, and will improve traffic flow within the transit system. Talk about efficiency!
- Artificial intelligence will be used to provide emergency notifications. Predictive intelligence will help streamline schedules and minimize delays, making the entire rail network even safer.
- Decarbonization will play a serious role as we shift from diesel to battery technology, hydrogen fuel cells, and renewable energy to power trains. Solar and wind energy is currently being experimented with as a more responsible, low-carbon type of energy consumption.
- Virtual & augmented reality will make the traveler experience more immersive and interactive. It could offer travelers information on what they’re seeing through their windows, or fun facts about the infrastructure they’re crossing.
At TravelPerk, we have one of the
largest train inventorieson the market and cover over 85% of the routes you can take across Europe and the United States. Our awesome
Concierge Servicecan also take care of the remaining 15% of routes we don’t have access to. So yeah, you could say that we’ve got you 100% covered on trains.We also help customers reclaim
VAT for business travel expensesspent on train transport in Germany, Switzerland, and Spain. We make traveling by train as flexible as possible, giving customers the opportunity to change or cancel their journeys—no questions asked. It’s stress-free and great for the environment.Not to mention that our train users can be even greener. Not only are they opting to travel more sustainably, but they can also
offset their carbon footprint! Green, carbon-neutral business travel has really never been easier.